Cats are often touted as a great apartment pet: independent, small and affectionate. But that doesn’t mean they don’t also need comfort, companionship, and entertainment.
Here’s are some tips for choosing an apartment cat, keeping them entertained and improving their quality of life. They are, after all, a part of the family.
Choosing an apartment cat
If you don’t already have a feline friend, give some consideration to choosing a cat breed for your apartment. While most cats will be okay, if given a choice, there are some distinctive breeds that fare better in terms of temperament, activity levels, and coats.
- American/British shorthair— these friendly cats are low-maintenance and get along well with other pets. American shorthairs need more toys and exercise their instincts, but their British counterparts are often larger and more mellow.
- Ragamuffins/ragdolls — These docile, affectionate cats typically play without using their claws. They do like to be around people and will often greet visitors at the door.
- Persian — Persians have longer, thick coats that require regular brushing but are naturally very docile, quiet and sedentary.
- Russian blue — These low-shedding cats love playing fetch and being petted.
Keeping a cat happy in an apartment
It’s not all about square footage.
Cats care more about a full use of the room – from vertical to horizontal than floor space alone. Whether it’s human furniture or cat-specific structures, your cat will likely be more interested in getting to the highest spots of your apartment rather than running laps on a horizontal plane.
Make it easier on your feline friend by arranging furniture so they can easily jump from one piece to the next.
A bored cat is a dangerous cat — mischief, scratched furniture and so on. But all of that can be kept at bay with ample stimulation and cat accessories.
Since cats are hunting animals and have a high prey drive, it’s very important that at least once or twice a day, they are able to get their hunting game on and actively engage in play.
Make sure there’s plenty for your cat to scratch on. Invest in cat scratchers, cardboard accessories and cat trees.
Lastly, while it is great to have toys the cat can use to entertain itself also make time to play with your pet. Even the laziest cats enjoy play and affection.
Cat-sized spaces and cat-specific furniture can really help prevent a cat from getting bored and improve their comfort.
Take for instance a cat window seat or basket. What cat wouldn’t love the interesting view it got from this kind of vantage point? Place a bird feeder nearby, and they’re guaranteed constant entertainment.
Other options including cat beds, trees, perches, nooks and even hammocks.
If they start to get bored with their options, you can move furniture or nooks around, change the height, etc.
For your cat’s safety, keep your most prized plants in unreachable locations and/or line the pots with sticky tape to discourage cats from tampering.
Keep lilies, tulips, Spanish thyme, oleander, English ivy, azaleas and other toxic plants away from cats or remove them altogether.
Some cat litter boxes are a heck of a lot more suited to apartment life than others.
Our tip? Invest in litter boxes that track less, don’t require a litter mat, take up less space, reduce litter smells, and are a bit more attractive.
You and your cat can be happy in any apartment if you put in the time and effort to keep your pet engaged and exercised.